Today's politics recap

It was Election Day across the country...

  • The Virginia governor’s race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe was defeated Republican Glenn Youngkin. The race is being widely viewed as a referendum on Joe Biden’s first year in office. Youngkin leaned into a growing backlash against mask mandates, school closures and right-wing fervor against teaching critical race theory.
  • In New Jersey, the governor’s race between Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy and Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former state assemblyman, remains too close to call.The election could be a litmus of how voters are responding to coronavirus health policies like mask mandates, business closures and other restrictions.
  • In Boston, progressive Michelle Wu defeated moderate Annissa Essaibi-George in the mayoral race. She has become the first woman of color and Asian American elected to the office. Her campaign emphasized climate action, the importance of addressing racial inequities in a city where the majority of residents are people of color.
  • Aftab Pureval was elected Cincinnati’s first Asian American mayor.“We made history in Cincinnati,” Pureval said to supporters in a victory speech. His family “ came to this country to provide a better life for their sons. Because of that incredible decision, our family went from being refugees to mayor of Cincinnati,” he said.
  • Abdullah Hammoud has won the mayoral race in Dearborn, Michigan, making him the city’s first Arab American leader.Dearborn has one of the largest Arab American populations in the nation.
  • In Durham, North Carolina, Elaine O’Neal will become city’s first Black woman mayor. She campaigned on neighborhood safety, housing and economic relief in the aftermath of the pandemic. She is a former superior court judge and the former dean of North Carolina Central University’s School of Law.
  • Minneapolis voters choose not to replace the police department. Voters rejected a plan to transition the city’s police department to a new Department of Public Safety, nearly a year and a half after the police killing of George Floyd inspired nationwide protests against police brutality.
  • In New York, Eric Adams won the New York mayor’s race, as expected. The former police officer, 61, would be only the second Black person to be elected New York mayor. He urged unity in his acceptance speech. “Today we take off the intramural jersey and we put on one jersey, Team New York,” he told supporters in a victory speech.
  • Democrat Alvin Bragg won the race for Manhattan district attorney. He will be the first Black DA for Manhattan and inherit an office that is leading a closely-watched investigation into Donald Trump’s business dealings. Bragg has also vowed to address the disproportionate prosecuting of Black residents and scale back the prosecution of “crimes of poverty”.

In other politics news...

  • Joe Biden criticized the leaders of China and Russia for not participating in the Cop26 climate change conference, saying they had made a “big mistake”. Holding a press conference before leaving Glasgow, Biden said, “We showed up. And by showing up, we’ve had a profound impact on the way, I think, the rest of the world is looking at the United States and its leadership role.”
  • The US rejoined the High Ambition Coalition at Cop26. The group is dedicated to following through on the pledge to limit global temperature increases to 1.5C (2.7F), which was included in the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Biden also expressed confidence that Joe Manchin will support the final version of Democrats’ reconciliation package. “He will vote for this if we have in this proposal what he has anticipated,” the president told reporters in Glasgow. “I believe that Joe will be there.” Manchin has indicated concerns about how the legislation will impact the federal deficit, and he said today that it would take “quite a while” to pass the bill.
  • Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats had reached a deal on a proposal to lower prescription drug prices, one of the last remaining hurdles in their negotiations over the reconciliation package. But Democrats still need to find common ground on the immigration provisions and the proposed Medicare expansion in the bill, to name just a couple of the outstanding issues in their talks

– Maanvi Singh and Joan E Greve

Abdullah Hammoud has won the mayoral race in Dearborn, Michigan, making him the city’s first Arab American leader.

Dearborn has one of the largest Arab American populations in the nation.

Dearborn, we won!

I’m honored & humbled by today’s support. Our residents spoke loudly -- we want change & bold leadership to tackle the challenges our city faces. 

We live in the greatest city in America and I’m excited about what we can achieve together.

Let's get to work! pic.twitter.com/q8u1VmSzdc

— Abdullah Hammoud (@AHammoudMI) November 3, 2021

Updated

Joe Biden suffered a bitter political blow in Virginia.

McAuliffe, had campaigned with Biden and Barack Obama but it was not enough to prevent Youngkin pulling off an upset.

The race was effectively the first referendum on Biden’s presidency, one year after he won the White House, and it coincided with his agenda stalling in Congress and his approval rating sinking to 42%.

McAuliffe’s all-out effort to portray Youngkin as an acolyte of Donald Trump proved less effective than the Republican’s laser-like focus on whipping up parents’ fear and anger about culture war issues in Virginia’s schools.

Youngkin made false claims that critical race theory – an analytic framework through which academics examine the ways that racial disparities are reproduced by the law – is rampant in the state’s education system (in fact it is not taught).

His campaign zeroed in on a perceived gaffe by McAuliffe at one of their debates: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Importantly, Youngkin was also successful walking a political tightrope in which he accepted Trump’s endorsement but never mentioned him in stump speeches or invited him to campaign with him in person. He cultivated sufficient ambiguity to appeal to moderate Republicans without alienating the Trump base.

History was on Youngkin’s side in that the party that loses the White House tends to be energised and usually wins the Virginia’s governor’s race a year later. But McAuliffe himself had bucked that rule when he became governor in 2014 (he was limited to one term).

However, no Republican had won statewide office since 2009, and Biden beat Trump in Virginia by 10 percentage points, meaning that Democrats’ loss here will reverberate across the nation.

Republican Youngkin projected winner of Virginia Governor's race

The Associated Press has called the race.

The face-off between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin has been widely considered a referendum on Joe Biden.

McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, cast Youngkin as a Trumpist, and vowed to protect voting rights and abortion access in the state, while Youngkin capitalized on anger against mask mandates, school closures, and other pandemic-era public health policies.

Aftab Pureval was elected Cincinnati’s first Asian American mayor.

“We made history in Cincinnati,” Pureval said to supporters in a victory speech. His family “ came to this country to provide a better life for their sons. Because of that incredible decision, our family went from being refugees to mayor of Cincinnati,” he said.

He won with about 66% of the vote.

Updated

In Buffalo, incumbent Byron Brown declared victory over socialist candidate India Walton, who has refused to concede.

If Walton, 39, wins, she would the first Black woman to lead Buffalo. Her stunning victory over Brown in the June Democratic primaries bolstered her profile. But Brown asked supporters to write him in today – and his strategy seems to have worked.

The vote could take a while to tally.

In Durham, North Carolina, Elaine O’Neal will become city’s first Black woman mayor.

She campaigned on neighborhood safety, housing and economic relief in the aftermath of the pandemic. She is a former superior court judge and the former dean of North Carolina Central University’s School of Law.

O’Neal’s challenger Javiera Caballero had suspended her campaign but remained on the ballot.

Progressive candidate Michelle Wu wins Boston mayor race

Michelle Wu defeated Annissa Essaibi-George in the Boston mayoral race. She has become the first woman of color and Asian American elected to the office.

Acting mayor Kim Janey is the first woman and person of color to lead the city, having been appointed by former mayor Marty Walsh who is now serving as Labor secretary. Wu’s campaign has emphasized climate action, and she has vowed to address the housing crisis and racial injustice. She signaled ambitions to enact universal pre-K, public transit and initiatives to address the racial wealth gap.

Essaibi-George, who ran on a moderate platform, conceded in a phone call to Wu. “I know this is no small feat. You know it’s no small feat,” she said. “I want her to show the city how mothers get it done.”

Wu’s win is historic in a city where the majority of residents are people of color.

Updated

The Virginia governor’s race remains too close to call, but Democrat Terry McAuliffe – who is trailing Republican Glenn Youngkin – delivered a measured speech.

“I want to thank my campaign staff – it was the greatest team ever assembled,” he said in a speech that sounded adjacent to a concession speech, even though he wasn’t conceding.

“The fight continues,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we protect women’s right to choose here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We’ve got to make sure everyone gets quality, affordable health care here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Everybody’s entitled to a world-class education here in the Commonwealth of Virginia and we are going to continue that fight tonight, and every day going forward.”

Updated

“Tonight, New Yorkers have chosen one of their own,” Eric Adams, who just won the mayor’s seat, said in a victory speech. “I am you.”

Adams urged unity. “Today we take off the intramural jersey and we put on one jersey, Team New York,” he told supporters at a celebration at the New York Marriott.

“Tonight is not just a victory over adversity, it is a vindication of faith,” he noted. “It is the proof that the forgotten can be the future.”

The former police officer and centrist has been a disappointing choice for many progressives who hoped to see radical reforms in the criminal justice system. Adams has promised to strike a balance between fighting crime and ending racial injustice in law enforcement.

Updated

Minneapolis voters choose not to replace police department, AP projects

Voters rejected a plan to replace the city’s police department with a new Department of Public Safety, nearly a year and a half after the police killing of George Floyd inspired nationwide protests against police brutality.

The rejected initiative would have gotten rid of a city a requirement to staff the police department with a minimum number of officers, clearing the way to completely reimagine law enforcement. A new Department of Public Safety would instead develop “a comprehensive public health approach”.

Read more:

Updated

Democrat Alvin Bragg won the race for Manhattan district attorney, the AP projected.

He will be the first Black DA for Manhattan and inherit an office that is leading a closely-watched investigation into Donald Trump’s business dealings. Bragg has also vowed to address the disproportionate prosecuting of Black residents and scale back the prosecution of “crimes of poverty”.

Updated

In New Jersey, the governor’s race between Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy and Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former state assemblyman, remains too close to call.

The election could be a litmus of how voters are responding to coronavirus health policies like mask mandates, business closures and other restrictions. Murphy, who has issued stringent health orders to slow the spread of Covid-19 has earned high marks from constituents for his leadership during the pandemic. But Ciattarelli, like many Republican politicians across the US, has seized on growing backlash and frustrations over such policies.

Eric Adams wins New York mayor's race

The AP has projected the race in Adams’ favor.

Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a former state senator, was long expected to win.

Read more:

Updated

The ballroom of a Hilton hotel in Tysons, northern Virginia, is the setting for Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s election watch party as results come in for the governor’s race.

Giant TV screens are broadcasting the MSNBC network and currently show Republican Glenn Youngkin leading on 55.5% with McAuliffe trailing on 43.8%, with 46% of votes in.

But music is playing, people are chatting and the mood remains upbeat – for now.
“Terry McAuliffe will win,” said David Broder, 42, president of a local union for home care and public service workers.

“He has been strong on economic issues. Continuing to push paid family and medical leave has been crucial at the same time Congress has not. This issue has not gone away. I hear it every time I knock on doors.”

Asked for his views on McAuliffe’s Republican opponent, Broder replied: “Glenn Youngkin is the love child of Donald Trump and Mitt Romney. He should not be anywhere near state government.”

Updated

Polls closed in New York mayor's race

Former police officer Eric Adams is favored to defeat Republican Curtis Sliwa in Tuesday’s election.

Adams, 61, would be only the second Black person to be elected New York mayor, after David Dinkins, who led the city from 1990 to 1993. Adams, who defeated several progressive candidates in the Democratic primary, has pledged to cut government inefficiency and made public safety a central part of his campaign.

Sliwa is a talk radio host who founded the Guardian Angels, a volunteer crime prevention group, in the 1970s. He has been a regular presence on New York City’s streets, frequently standing on top of a car-pulled float and spreading his message through a microphone and speaker. Sliwa wore his red beret throughout the campaign, including during the mayoral debates, but has struggled to gain much attention in a race where Adams had long been favored.

Updated

With about 60% of the vote in, Republican Glenn Youngkin appears to be pulling ahead in the Virginia governor’s race, which remains too close to call. Democrat and former governor Terry McAuliffe will have really to catch up to win this – he appears to be lagging in key counties that Joe Biden swept in 2020.

Republicans also appear poised to win the lieutenant governor and attorney general seats.

My colleague David Smith explains the tension here:

The race is effectively the first referendum on Biden’s presidency, one year after he won the White House, and it coincided with his agenda stalling in Congress and his approval rating sinking to 42%.

McAuliffe launched all-out effort to portray Youngkin as an acolyte of Donald Trump proved less effective, while Youngkin retained a laser-like focus on whipping up parents’ fear and anger about culture war issues in Virginia’s schools.

Here’s more background:

Updated

CDC gives final approval to vaccinate children 5-11 against Covid-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) formally endorsed the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 through 11. After an expert panel voted unanimously to support the vaccine, CDC director Rochelle Walensky gave final approval.

“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes Covid-19,” she said.

Pfizer has been readying shipments of pediatric doses to vaccination centers, pharmacies, and health clinics, and vaccines could begin this week. The approval is sure to bring relief to millions of parents across the US, with the country bracing for a surge amidst the holiday season. Doses for children are about one-third the adult dose.

Although children are less likely to get sick and die from the virus than adults, there is still a risk. More than 8,000 US children have been hospitalized with Covid-19. California last month was the first state to require vaccines for children attending school in person.

Updated

Democrat Shontel Brown has won the election for the House seat vacated by Marcia Fudge of Ohio, the AP projects.

Fudge left her seat to become Joe Biden’s secretary of housing and urban development.

Brown’s victory will not affect the balance of power in the House, where Democrats currently have a three-member lead, because Republican Mike Carey is expected to fill the seat vacated by the GOP Ohio representative Steve Stivers, who resigned this year.

BREAKING: Democrat Shontel Brown wins election to U.S. House in Ohio's 11th Congressional District. #APracecall at 7:53 p.m. EDT. #Election2021 #OHelection

— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) November 2, 2021

Updated

Voters in Buffalo are choosing between a socialist candidate and a four-term incumbent

In Buffalo, Democratic mayor Byron Brown is running an unusual write-in campaign against Democratic socialist India Walton. We’re watching what could be a historic result.

If Walton, 39, wins, she would the first Black woman to lead Buffalo. Her stunning victory in the June Democratic primaries bolstered the socialist candidate’s national profile – and she’s the only candidate printed on the ballot, as Republicans are not running a candidate in the deeply blue city.

But on election day, incumbent mayor Brown, 63, has been doubling down – asking supporters to write him in today. Party leaders have also declined to offer Walton their whole-hearted support; neither New York governor Kathy Hochul nor Jay S Jacobs, the chair of the New York State Democratic Committee, have made endorsements.

When asked why he isn’t supporting her, Jacobs said in a Spectrum News interview: “Let’s take a scenario, very different, where David Duke — you remember him, the grand wizard of the KKK — he moves to New York, he becomes a Democrat, he runs for mayor in the city of Rochester ... I have to endorse David Duke? I don’t think so. Now, of course, India Walton is not in the same category.”

Critics including Brown and his supporters have characterized Walton, a registered nurse and political newcomer, as an inexperienced, radical choice, echoing Republican critiques of progressive Democrats. Republican voters, a minority in the city, could play a key role in the election if they rally behind Brown.

Meanwhile, progressive representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been stumping for Walton, and the candidate gained the support of senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Updated

Polls close in Virginia

We’ll be watching and updating you here as the results roll in.

A woman, who preferred not to give her name, gets verbal instructions from an election officer as she casts her ballot at the Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, US, on November 2, 2021.
A woman, who preferred not to give her name, gets verbal instructions from an election officer as she casts her ballot at the Randolph Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, US, on November 2, 2021. Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

Updated

Virginia votes as poll expert says ‘white backlash’ could power Republican win

Lauren Gambino in Washington, Martin Pengelly in New York and agencies:

Virginians on Tuesday are voting to elect a new governor, in a closely contested race between the Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin widely seen as a referendum on Joe Biden’s presidency.

They did so as a leading Virginia polling expert warned that Youngkin may be riding a wave of “white backlash” all the way to the governor’s mansion, having successfully focused on controversy over the place of race in education.

In the final hours of the campaign, the candidates offered starkly different closing arguments, making their cases to voters whose odd-year gubernatorial elections have long reflected the national political mood a year into any new administration.

Saddled by Biden’s sagging poll numbers and intra-party wrangling that has gridlocked the president’s domestic spending agenda, McAuliffe has attempted to tether his opponent to Donald Trump, a polarizing figure in voter-rich northern suburbs.

Youngkin has mostly avoided the subject of Trump while embracing many of his tactics, a blueprint many Republican strategists believe could be a model for the midterm elections next year.

Updated

Fresh obstacles appear on the road to approve the Reconciliation bill

There’s yet another hitch in negotiations over the Democrats’ massive reconciliation bill

Democratic negotiators are reportedly considering repealing the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT, as part of the reconciliation deal – setting off a fierce debate over a provision that could result in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

The issue of repealing the cap has been a key point of contention, with some lawmakers from high tax states such as New Jersey and New York saying they won’t vote for a reconciliation bill that doesn’t address the cap.

“Today’s news is encouraging for a SALT cap repeal to be included in the final reconciliation package,” said Democratic representatives Josh Gottheimer and Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey and Tom Suozzi of New York, in a statement. “We will continue to work with House and Senate leadership to ensure the cap on the SALT deduction is repealed. No SALT, no deal. No SALT, no dice.”

A bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget analysis found that repealing the SALT cap offset tax hikes in the Build Back Better plan.

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders said he would strongly oppose lifting the cap, noting, “at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, the last thing we should be doing is giving more tax breaks to the very rich”.

According to media reports, Democratic negotiators are working on a repeal of the SALT deduction cap for up to five years, which would cost $475 billion and give the richest 5% $400 billion in tax cuts.

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 2, 2021

Updated

CDC panel recommends coronavirus vaccines for children five to 11

An advisory panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unanimously voted to recommend that all children ages five to 11 get Pfizer’s pediatric coronavirus vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration has already approved the vaccine for children, and now, with the CDC panel’s vote, those shots are one step closer to reaching the public, once CDC director Rochelle Walensky signs off.

Pfizer is already readying shipments to pharmacies and clinics across the US.

Updated

Trump call to ‘find’ votes was threat to my safety, Georgia elections official says

The Georgia Republican responsible for running elections considered an infamous call in which Donald Trump told him to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state a “threat” to his safety and that of his family.

Biden’s victory in Georgia was a narrow but vital part of his national win. No Democratic presidential candidate had taken the state since Bill Clinton in 1992.

Trump called Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, nearly two months after election day, on Saturday 2 January. Telling him “it’s pretty clear we won”, the then president said: “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have [to get]” to surpass Biden’s total.

Raffensperger, a conservative who supported Trump, resisted the president’s demands. That prompted Trump to suggest the refusal to expose mass voter fraud in Georgia – on which Trump insisted but which did not exist, as in all other states – could be a “criminal offense”.

“That’s a big risk to you,” Trump said. “That’s a big risk.”

In Integrity Counts, a book published on Tuesday, Raffensperger writes: “I felt then – and still believe today – that this was a threat. Others obviously thought so, too, because some of Trump’s more radical followers have responded as if it was their duty to carry out this threat.”

Read more:

Today so far

That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Maanvi Singh, will take over the blog for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • Joe Biden criticized the leaders of China and Russia for not participating in the Cop26 climate change conference, saying they had made a “big mistake”. Holding a press conference before leaving Glasgow, Biden said, “We showed up. And by showing up, we’ve had a profound impact on the way, I think, the rest of the world is looking at the United States and its leadership role.”
  • The US rejoined the High Ambition Coalition at Cop26. The group is dedicated to following through on the pledge to limit global temperature increases to 1.5C (2.7F), which was included in the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Biden also expressed confidence that Joe Manchin will support the final version of Democrats’ reconciliation package. “He will vote for this if we have in this proposal what he has anticipated,” the president told reporters in Glasgow. “I believe that Joe will be there.” Manchin has indicated concerns about how the legislation will impact the federal deficit, and he said today that it would take “quite a while” to pass the bill.
  • Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats had reached a deal on a proposal to lower prescription drug prices, one of the last remaining hurdles in their negotiations over the reconciliation package. But Democrats still need to find common ground on the immigration provisions and the proposed Medicare expansion in the bill, to name just a couple of the outstanding issues in their talks.
  • Virginia voters are going to the polls today to choose their next governor. Recent surveys show Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin running neck and neck, and the results of the race will provide some clues as to how much ground Biden has lost with voters since taking office. (The president carried Virginia by 10 points last year.)

Maanvi will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

Updated

House speaker Nancy Pelosi has endorsed the deal on lowering prescription drug prices, which was announced by Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer this afternoon.

“For a generation, House Democrats have been fighting to deliver real drug price negotiations that will lower costs,” Pelosi said in a new statement.

“With today’s agreement on strong lower drug price provisions for the Build Back Better Act, Democrats have a path forward to make good on this transformational agenda for our seniors.”

Pelosi noted the deal, which will be included as part of Democrats’ reconciliation package, will reduce out-of-pocket co-pays for seniors and establish a $2,000 out-of-pocket limit for Medicare Part D expenses.

“We are now finishing the drafting of the legislative text to reflect this important agreement,” Pelosi said. “I am pleased with the compromise reached by House Members and Senator Sinema.”

In the final hours of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign, Republican Glenn Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe offered starkly different closing arguments, making their cases to voters whose odd-year gubernatorial elections have long reflected the national political mood a year into any new administration.

Saddled by Joe Biden’s sagging poll numbers and intra-party wrangling that has gridlocked the president’s domestic spending agenda, McAuliffe has attempted to tether his opponent to Donald Trump, a polarizing figure in voter-rich northern suburbs.

Youngkin has mostly avoided the subject of Trump while embracing many of his tactics, a blueprint many Republican strategists believe could be a model for midterm elections next year.

Polls showed an unexpectedly close race in a state that has trended Democratic since the election of Barack Obama in 2008. A loss in a state Biden won by nearly 10 points in 2020 would be deeply alarming for a party already bracing for a difficult challenge next year.

Updated

Joe Biden expressed confidence that Democrats will win the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, even as some Virginia polls show Republican Glenn Youngkin pulling ahead of Terry McAuliffe.

“I think we’re going to win in Virginia,” Biden told reporters in Glasgow. “It’s about who shows up, who turns out.”

Biden acknowledged it would be a “tight race” in Virginia, and he predicted that a result would be known by the time he lands in Washington at roughly 1 am local time.

NEW: "I think we're gonna win in Virginia," Pres. Biden says, acknowledging that it's a close race in the state Biden won by a 10-point margin last year. https://t.co/hoWCO08YMz pic.twitter.com/EXhglJ7SNT

— ABC News (@ABC) November 2, 2021

Defying many political analysts, Biden said the Virginia election would not be determined by his approval rating or congressional Democrats’ inability to pass his economic agenda (so far at least).

“I’ve not seen any evidence that whether or not I am doing well or poorly, whether or not I’ve got my agenda passed or not — is going to have any real impact on winning or losing,” Biden said.

“Even if we had passed my agenda, I wouldn’t claim we won because Biden’s agenda had passed.”

The president’s press conference has now concluded, and he will soon start the journey back to Washington.

Updated

China and Russia made 'big mistake', Biden says

Joe Biden said he believed the leaders of China and Russia made a “big mistake” by not attending the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

“We showed up. And by showing up, we’ve had a profound impact on the way, I think, the rest of the world is looking at the United States and its leadership role,” Biden said.

“The rest of the world is going to look to China and say, ‘What value added are they providing?’ And they’ve lost the ability to influence people around the world and all the people here at Cop.”

President Biden says the leaders of China and Russia have made a "big mistake" by not attending the climate summit in Glasgow.

"We showed up, and by showing up we've had a profound impact on the way the rest of the world is looking at the United States." pic.twitter.com/v9x33beICM

— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 2, 2021

Asked whether he was concerned about potential armed conflict between the US and China, Biden said he was not.

“This is competition, it does not have to be conflict. There is no reason there needs be conflict,” Biden said.

The president added that he has told Chinese President Xi Jinping the US expects Beijing to “play by the rules of the road”.

Updated

'Joe will be there': Biden confident of Joe Manchin's support

Taking questions from reporters in Glasgow, Joe Biden was asked whether he believed Joe Manchin will support the final version of Democrats’ reconciliation package.

“He will vote for this if we have in this proposal what he has anticipated,” the president said. “I believe that Joe will be there.”

Manchin has refused to explicitly endorse Biden’s framework for the $1.75tn bill, saying he is concerned about how the legislation could affect the federal deficit.

But the White House has expressed confidence that the final version of the bill will quell Manchin’s fiscal concerns and win his support.

Updated

Joe Biden is now delivering prepared remarks at the start of his press conference, after the US president participated in the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

“I think we got a lot done,” Biden said of global leaders’ efforts over the past couple of days.

Echoing his comments yesterday, the president called for a “decisive decade of action” to combat the climate crisis and limit global temperatures increases.

Updated

Joe Biden will soon hold a press conference in Glasgow, after the US president participated in the Cop26 climate change conference there.

After taking questions from reporters, Biden will return to Washington to continue the negotiations over Democrats’ reconciliation package.

Biden’s press conference comes after the US formally rejoined the High Ambition Coalition, which is dedicated to fulfilling the obligations of the Paris Climate Agreement, namely to limit global temperature increases to 1.5C.

The Guardian’s Fiona Harvey reports:

The decision by the world’s biggest economy and second biggest emitter, after China, to return to the High Ambition Coalition group of countries marks a significant boost to attempts to focus the Cop26 summit on limiting temperature rises to 1.5C, the tougher of the two goals of the Paris agreement.

The coalition, which numbered scores of countries at the 2015 Paris talks, will on Tuesday call on governments to step up their efforts on greenhouse gas emissions and phasing out coal, consistent with a 1.5C limit, and urge rich nations to double the amount of climate finance they make available for poor countries to adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis. They also want to bring an end to subsidies for fossil fuels.

Updated

Krysten Sinema, one of the two key Democratic holdouts in the Senate amid the reconciliation bill talks, confirmed she supports the deal to lower prescription drug prices.

“The Senator welcomes a new agreement on a historic, transformative Medicare drug negotiation plan that will reduce out-of-pocket costs for seniors,” Sinema’s office said in a statement.

But again, there are still several other outstanding issues that need to be negotiated before Democrats can bring the reconciliation package up for a vote. Stay tuned.

Sinema Office Statement on Historic Medicare Drug Negotiation Agreement: pic.twitter.com/jiHeH6q4kB

— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) November 2, 2021

Lowering prescription drug prices was one of the last remaining issues in Democrats’ negotiations over the reconciliation package, so Chuck Schumer’s announcement marks a significant step forward.

However, there are still several other important proposals that Democrats need to finalize before moving forward with the bill.

Congressional Democrats have not yet reached agreements on immigration provisions and the proposed Medicare expansion in the reconciliation package, for example.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi is still hoping to hold votes on both the reconciliation package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill by the end of the week. Stay tuned.

Democrats reach deal on lowering prescription drug prices, Schumer says

Congressional Democrats have reached a deal on lowering prescription drug prices through the reconciliation package, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said.

“I’m pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached to lower prescription drug prices for seniors and families in the Build Back Better legislation,” the Democratic leader said.

“Fixing prescription drug pricing has consistently been a top issue for Americans year after year, including the vast majority of both Democrats and Republicans, who want to see a change because they simply cannot afford their medications.”

.@SenSchumer: "I'm pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached to lower prescription drug prices for seniors and families in the Build Back Better legislation."

Full presser: https://t.co/8TuzpapLx6 pic.twitter.com/OobLpoJolM

— CSPAN (@cspan) November 2, 2021

Schumer acknowledged the agreed-upon proposal did not go as far as some Democrats had hoped, but he argued the deal still represented “a massive step forward”.

The Senate leader also noted that Kyrsten Sinema, one of two key Democratic holdouts in the upper chamber, has indicated she supports the proposal.

The drug pricing proposal was not included in Joe Biden’s framework for the $1.75tn reconciliation package, but Senate budget committee chair Bernie Sanders had pledged to keep fighting over the issue, which was one of his top priorities for the bill.

Joe Biden met with Prince Charles today on the sidelines of the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow, the White House said.

“President Biden and Prince Charles discussed the importance of global cooperation in tackling climate change,” a senior administration official told the press pool.

“They underlined the need for ambitious commitments and concrete actions among partners worldwide and discussed Prince Charles’ initiatives to engage the private sector on sustainability.

“President Biden reaffirmed the strength of the enduring ties between the United Kingdom and the United States, and he thanked the United Kingdom for hosting COP26. He commended the Royal Family for its dedication to climate issues, particularly Prince Charles’ environmental activism over the last half century.”

Speaking at the conference yesterday, the Prince of Wales called on countries to respond to the climate crisis with a “war-like footing”.

“The eyes and hopes of the world are upon you to act with all dispatch, and decisively — because time has quite literally run out,” he said.

There seems to have been some confusion at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow earlier, when some local reporters said Joe Biden was “evacuated” before an event about methane. There does seem to have been a lot of hot air involved – from reporters trailing the president, as the White House pool report, from Katie Rogers of the New York Times (and once, us) makes clear:

While walking to the methane pledge event, a rather stunned pool encountered President Biden walking through the conference with his delegation. Things quickly turned chaotic.

As he wove his way through a crowd of hundreds of people – many of them journalists – he ignored more shouted questions about Joe Manchin.

Biden spoke as expected. Here’s more, from our diplomatic editor, Patrick Wintour:

Interesting news from Alabama, where a conservative Christian university has withdrawn an invitation to speak to the Pulitzer-winning historian Jon Meacham, because he has given speeches to Planned Parenthood groups.

Jon Meacham.
Jon Meacham. Photograph: DNCC/Getty Images

Samford University, in Birmingham, is a Southern Baptist institution. As such, students there said Meacham’s “beliefs and core values” did not align with their own and pushed for his speech to be cancelled.

As reported by the Associated Press, Samford’s president, Beck A Taylor, “posted on the university’s website that Meacham’s speech was ‘intended to highlight his work in analysing the current state of civility and discourse in our country’, not abortion.

“But the Samford Student Government Association and others recommended postponing Meacham’s talk, Taylor said, so his appearance was canceled and the school will try to schedule another time for him to speak.”

Meacham has both written a biography of George HW Bush and advised Joe Biden. He won the Pulitzer in 2009, for a biography of Andrew Jackson. (As it happens, the president upon whom Steve Bannon famously told Donald Trump to model himself, and whom Trump equally famously said was very cross about the civil war, something of a feat even for Old Hickory seeing as he died in 1845, 16 years before the war broke out.)

Anyway, the AP also reports that Taylor said he found Meacham’s insights “to be both challenging and inspiring” and added: “Our mission as a Christ-centered institution of higher learning is to stand boldly at the intersection of society and the church and to convene important conversations about how to live faithfully in the world. That mission calls us to invite speakers and artists to campus who challenge our perspectives and who share wisdom and insights.”

Nonetheless, Meacham appears to have been … cancelled.

Here’s an interview with him, by our Washington bureau chief David Smith:

Updated

Mike Pence met with applause on Monday night in Iowa City, when he answered a question at an event held by a conservative youth group about why he didn’t do what Donald Trump wanted and help overturn the 2020 election.

Mike Pence.
Mike Pence. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

“James Madison,” Pence said, citing the fourth president, the founder widely considered the father of the US constitution.

On 6 January, the then vice-president did not do what a conservative lawyer, John Eastman, now notoriously recommended, and use his role presiding over the certification of electoral college results to upend key states and keep Trump in the White House.

Eastman has complained that Pence has been given too much credit for his behaviour on a day when he and his family were hustled to safety while the mob that attacked the Capitol hunted him, some chanting that he should be hanged.

Eastman told the Guardian he was the victim of a “false narrative put out there to make it look as though Pence had been asked to do something egregiously unconstitutional, so he was made to look like a white knight coming in to stop this authoritarian Trump”.

Others, including Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of the Washington Post, have reported that Pence took Eastman and Trump seriously and had to be convinced he could not do as they wished.

Pence has struggled to reconcile the events of 6 January with the need to both appease Trump and advance his own political ambition.

In Iowa, Pence said: “I understand the disappointment in the election. You might remember I was on the ballot. But you’ve got to be willing to do your duty. And the time may come that some of you are in that position, or one like it. And I just have a feeling based on the shining faces I’m seeing around here you’re going to be men and women who do your duty in that time as well.”

Why was Pence in Iowa, talking about shining faces?

Iowa will hold the first contest of the 2024 Republican presidential primary.

Here’s some very fine further reading, from Ed Pilkington of this parrish:

Today so far

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • Joe Manchin said it would take “quite a while” to pass the reconciliation package, even as the House looks to hold votes on that proposal and the bipartisan infrastructure bill by the end of the week. “We’re not in a rush right now,” Manchin told reporters on Capitol Hill today. “The rush was trying to get everything before the president went overseas.”
  • Virginia voters are going to the polls today to choose their next governor. Recent surveys show Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin running neck and neck, and the results of the race will provide some clues as to how much ground Joe Biden has lost with voters since taking office. (The president carried Virginia by 10 points last year.)
  • The US has rejoined the High Ambition Coalition at Cop26. The group is dedicated to following through on the pledge to limit global temperature increases to 1.5C, which was included in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

In New Jersey, Democratic Governor Phil Murphy leads his Republican opponent, Jack Ciattarelli, by several points in recent polls.

According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Murphy has a 7.8-point advantage over Ciattarelli as New Jersey voters cast their ballots today.

If Murphy can pull off a victory as expected, he will become the first Democratic governor to win reelection in New Jersey since 1977.

Given that Joe Biden carried New Jersey by 16 points last year, Democrats will be looking closely at the margin of Murphy’s likely victory to see how much ground they have lost with voters as they struggle to enact the president’s economic agenda.

Minneapolis votes on replacing police department after George Floyd's murder

All eyes are on Virginia today, as the state holds its closely watched gubernatorial race, but there are other important elections happening across the country today.

In New Jersey, voters will also go to the polls to pick their next governor, although Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy is heavily favored in the race.

And in Minneapolis, voters will decide whether the city should replace its police department with a new Department of Public Safety.

The election comes nearly a year and a half after George Floyd, an African American man, was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer.

The AP reports:

The Democratic mayor, Jacob Frey, is also in a tough fight for a second term, facing opponents who attacked him in the wake of Floyd’s death.

Frey opposed the policing amendment. Two of his leading challengers in a field of 17, Sheila Nezhad and Kate Knuth, strongly supported the proposal.

Voters will also decide whether to replace an unusual ‘weak mayor, strong council’ system with a more conventional distribution of executive and legislative powers.

Even as Joe Manchin is indicating it will take a while for the Senate to pass the reconciliation package, budget committee chair Bernie Sanders is pushing for a vote as early as next week.

“This process cannot go on week after week, month after month. It’s finally got to come to an end,” Sanders said, per CBS News.

.@SenSanders on negotiations on reconciliation pkg: "This process cannot go on week after week month after month. It’s finally got to come to an end. And I will do everything I can to see that we get a vote on the floor of the Senate as soon as possible. Hopefully next week."

— Jack Turman III (@jackturmanIII) November 2, 2021

The progressive senator added that he will be pushing for a vote “as soon as possible”, hopefully by next week.

But with the Senate evenly divided, Democrats need all 50 of their members on board before they can move forward with the reconciliation process.

Updated

'It's going to take quite a while,' Manchin says of passing reconciliation package

Senator Joe Manchin said it would take “quite a while” to pass the reconciliation package, even as the House looks to hold votes on that proposal and the bipartisan infrastructure bill by the end of the week.

“You’re talking about overhauling the entire tax code. That is tremendous. And there needs to be input. We need to know what the effect’s going to be,” the West Virginia senator told CNN on Capitol Hill.

Manchin added, “We’re not in a rush right now. The rush was trying to get everything before the president went overseas.”

Asked Manchin about timing: “I just think it’s going to take quite a while. You’re talking about overhauling the entire tax code. That is tremendous. And there needs to be input…And we're not in a rush right now. The rush was trying to get everything” before Biden went overseas pic.twitter.com/qfTjbFit7j

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 2, 2021

Democrats were not able to pass either bill before Joe Biden left for Europe last week, so Manchin argued that the party can now take its time as it tries to pass both bills.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi is still looking to hold votes on both bills by the end of the week, even though there are several important outstanding issues with the reconciliation package.

If the House can pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Biden will be able to immediately sign that proposal because it already passed the Senate. But the upper chamber would still need to approve the reconciliation package before it can go to Biden’s desk.

US rejoins coalition to achieve 1.5C goal at UN climate talks

The US has rejoined the High Ambition Coalition at the UN climate talks, the group of developed and developing countries that ensured the 1.5C goal was a key plank of the Paris agreement.

The decision by the world’s biggest economy and second biggest emitter, after China, to return to the High Ambition Coalition group of countries marks a significant boost to attempts to focus the Cop26 summit on limiting temperature rises to 1.5C, the tougher of the two goals of the Paris agreement.

The coalition, which numbered scores of countries at the 2015 Paris talks, will on Tuesday call on governments to step up their efforts on greenhouse gas emissions and phasing out coal, consistent with a 1.5C limit, and urge rich nations to double the amount of climate finance they make available for poor countries to adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis. They also want to bring an end to subsidies for fossil fuels.

A senior US official said: “The High Ambition Coalition was instrumental in Paris in making sure that high ambition was written into the Paris agreement and will be instrumental in Glasgow in making sure it’s delivered.”

House Democratic caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries was asked whether he believes Joe Manchin is working in good faith in the negotiations over the reconciliation package, after the senator’s critical comments yesterday.

“The Senate is the Senate, and it’s the price that we pay for the democracy that we have in America,” Jeffries said at a press conference.

“I take every single senator in good faith, in terms of comments that they’ve put into the public domain. I also believe that all 50 of them do want to get the Build Back Better Act over the finish line, and I remain convinced of that fact.”

Reporter on spending bill negotiations: “Do you feel like [Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)] is doing this in good faith …?”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): “The Senate is the Senate … I take every single senator in good faith.” pic.twitter.com/T2cbWm5pUI

— The Recount (@therecount) November 2, 2021

Leaving the House Democratic caucus meeting, speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believed the outstanding issues with the reconciliation package could be addressed today.

“I’m not announcing a vote,” Pelosi told reporters. “But I did say it would be, could be resolved by the end of the day.”

.@SpeakerPelosi post Dem caucus meeting this am: “I’m not announcing a vote but I do think it could be resolved by the end of the day.” (via @KyleAlexStewart) pic.twitter.com/nVEygCBnty

— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotnbc) November 2, 2021

However, Democrats still need to reach a consensus on issues like prescription drug pricing, immigration and Medicare expansion, so it will be a heavy lift to wrap up the work on the reconciliation bill today.

Pelosi and her team are still hoping that the House can hold votes on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package later this week.

Glenn Youngkin may be riding a wave of “white backlash” all the way to the Virginia governor’s mansion, a leading polling expert in the state said, as the Republican led the former governor Terry McAuliffe into election day.

Asked why education was a key factor in Youngkin’s stronger-than-expected showing in a state recently dominated by Democrats, Larry Sabato of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia said: “One of the candidates decided it was his ticket to the governor’s mansion and he may well be right.”

Speaking to MSNBC, Sabato pointed to the core of Youngkin’s appeal on education: a promise to ban critical race theory in schools. Critical race theory, or CRT, is an academic discipline that examines the ways in which racism operates in US laws and society. It is not taught in Virginia schools, regardless of Youngkin’s promise to ban it.

“The operative word is not critical,” Sabato said. “And it’s not theory. It’s race. What a shock, huh? Race. That is what matters. And that’s why it’s sticks.

“There’s a lot of, we can call it white backlash, white resistance, whatever you want to call it. It has to do with race. And so we live in a post-factual era … It doesn’t matter that [CRT] isn’t taught in Virginia schools. It’s this generalised attitude that whites are being put upon and we’ve got to do something about it. We being white voters.”

Virginia heads to the polls in closely watched gubernatorial race

Virginia voters are going to the polls today to decide who will be their next governor: Democrat Terry McAuliffe or Republican Glenn Youngkin.

McAuliffe, who previously served as governor from 2014 to 2018, had widely been considered the favorite in the race in the months leading up to Election Day.

Terry McAuliffe greets supporters during a campaign event in Fairfax, Virginia.
Terry McAuliffe greets supporters during a campaign event in Fairfax, Virginia. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

But recent surveys have shown McAuliffe and Youngkin running neck and neck, and the 538 polling average now has the Republican leading by 1 point.

Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 points last year, but historically, the president’s party loses the state’s gubernatorial seat in its off-year election. Since the 1970’s, only one candidate has defied that trend: McAuliffe in 2013.

The blog will be keeping a close eye on the race throughout the day, so stay tuned.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus that she is looking to finish talks on the reconciliation package today, according to Politico.

Pelosi tells Dems in caucus this morning that she hopes to finish talks by midday *today* with a Rules hearing *tomorrow*, sources tell @heatherscope & me.

That would mean House could vote Thurs or Fri on infra and/or spending plan. Lotta time left in the week!

— Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) November 2, 2021

The Democratic speaker is hoping for a House rules committee hearing on the legislation tomorrow, which could set up a Thursday or Friday vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package.

But there are still several important outstanding details of the reconciliation package that need to be negotiated, including the provision over prescription drug pricing.

Stay tuned.

Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal said Democrats still need to finalize details on prescription drug pricing, childcare and immigration in the reconciliation package.

And yet, the Washington congresswoman told Punchbowl News that she still hopes the House can vote on both the reconciliation package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill this week.

Just asked Rep. Jayapal about her views on timing of the two bills this week. She said details needed to be worked out on prescription drug pricing, childcare and immigration in BBB.

Seems like major issues. But Jayapal still said she hopes both BBB and BIF pass this week.

— Max Cohen (@maxpcohen) November 2, 2021

House Democrats push for votes on infrastructure and reconciliation bills, despite Manchin concerns

Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.

House Democrats are moving forward with their plans to hold votes on both the infrastructure and reconciliation bills later this week, as they race to finish the text of the reconciliation package.

“The House, Senate and White House continue to move forward with the Build Back Better Act,” speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement yesterday.

“Democrats look forward to passing the Build Back Better Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework For The People.”

Sen. Joe Manchin on reconciliation package: "Simply put: I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact that it'll have on our national debt, our economy, and most importantly all of our American people." https://t.co/xY8G8YiI04 pic.twitter.com/mfWmHUFTiI

— ABC News (@ABC) November 1, 2021

But Democratic Senator Joe Manchin once again raised concerns about the reconciliation package yesterday, intensifying fears that the bill may not pass the evenly divided Senate.

“Simply put: I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact that it’ll have on our national debt, our economy and most importantly all of our American people,” Manchin said.

But so far, the White House has dismissed Manchin’s criticism, insisting that the final version of the reconciliation bill will pass his spending tests.

“Senator Manchin says he is prepared to support a Build Back Better plan that combats inflation, is fiscally responsible, and will create jobs. The plan the House is finalizing meets those tests,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

House Democrats will be looking to make more progress on the reconciliation package today. Stay tuned.

Contributors

Maanvi Singh (now) and Joan E Greve (earlier)

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
US midterm elections 2022: Trump backlash grows as top Virginia Republican says ‘I could not support him’ – as it happened
Lieutenant governor says former president has become ‘liability’ amid speculation over 2024 White House run – follow the latest

Sam Levin (now), Maanvi Singh, Chris Stein and Martin Belam (earlier)

11, Nov, 2022 @10:48 AM

Article image
Biden signs bill averting shutdown as heated infrastructure debate drags on – as it happened
Bill passed by Senate and House extends funding until 3 December as Democrats continue to wrangle over Biden’s agenda – get the latest

Maanvi Singh (now) and Joan E Greve (earlier)

01, Oct, 2021 @2:34 AM

Article image
Trump acknowledges 'new administration' – as it happened
This blog is now closed. You can read our main story on the day’s events below:

Helen Sullivan (now) with Julia Carrie Wong ,Joan E Greve and Martin Belam (earlier)

08, Jan, 2021 @6:49 AM

Article image
Congress certifies Biden as next US president – as it happened
Four dead in unrest after pro-Trump mob storms Capitol

Tom McCarthy, Vivian Ho in San Francisco and Joan E Greve in Washington

07, Jan, 2021 @11:24 AM

Article image
House vote gives lawmakers a path to enforce subpoenas – as it happened
Trump’s eldest son to reportedly testify in closed session Wednesday, while Jon Stewart rebukes Congress for failing 9/11 victims

Vivian Ho in San Francisco (now) and Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington (earlier)

12, Jun, 2019 @12:13 AM

Article image
FDA authorizes Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use – as it happened
Government can now begin to distribute 5.9m doses of the Moderna vaccine across the US

Maanvi Singh and Joan E Greve

19, Dec, 2020 @1:50 AM

Article image
Joe Biden beats Donald Trump to win US election 2020 – as it happened
Biden has won the election, winning Pennsylvania and Nevada and surpassing the 270 electoral college votes needed for the White House

Joan E Greve (now); Martin Belam, Tom McCarthy and Maanvi Singh (earlier)

07, Nov, 2020 @5:54 PM

Article image
Trump chief of staff Meadows to cooperate with Capitol attack panel – as it happened
Mark Meadows providing records and agreeing to initial interview – get the latest politics news

Maanvi Singh (now) and Vivian Ho (earlier)

01, Dec, 2021 @12:51 AM

Article image
US Senate votes Trump impeachment trial is constitutional and will proceed – as it happened
Senate votes 56-44, with six Republican senators joining Democrats

Maanvi Singh (now), Joan E Greve and Martin Belam (earlier)

10, Feb, 2021 @1:17 AM

Article image
‘Democracy still works’: Biden to make first major address to Congress – as it happened
President to mark 100 days in office with speech to joint session – follow the day’s latest politics news

Maanvi Singh in Oakland and Amanda Holpuch in New York

29, Apr, 2021 @12:32 AM